NORTH PLATTE, Neb. – The Nebraska mother of two boys police found locked in a dog kennel will serve two years of probation after pleading no contest to felony child abuse.
The North Platte Telegraph reports (http://bit.ly/MRkySQ ) 23-year-old Ashly Clark changed her plea on Monday as part of an agreement with prosecutors. Several other charges were dropped.
Prosecutors made deals with Clark and other defendants in the case after a judge ruled some of what they told investigators couldn't be used as evidence.
Police say they found Clark's two boys, ages 3 and 5 at the time, sleeping in a wired-shut kennel Oct. 24 inside a filthy trailer home littered with trash and feces. Police were following up on a tip that four children in the home were living in an unsafe environment.
Police say Clark told officers she put the boys in the 30-by-42-inch kennel at night to keep them from climbing out of a window.
Neither Clark's attorney nor Lincoln County prosecutors responded immediately to messages about the case Tuesday.
Last week, 22-year-old Lacy Beyer and 26-year-old Bryson Eyten pleaded no contest to two misdemeanor charges of child abuse and false imprisonment, and they received one year of probation. Similar charges are pending against 25-year-old Samantha Eyten, who is due in court July 12.
Clark's two boys and two children belonging to the Eytens have been placed in state protective custody. Police have said all the adults living in the home knew Clark's children were kept in the dog kennel and did not intervene. The Eytens' children, ages 8 and 8-months-old, were not kept in the kennel.
Clark and the other three defendants argued none of the statements they made to police or social workers at the time they were arrested should be allowed in court because they weren't properly advised of their legal rights.
District Judge Richard Birch ruled in May that the early statements the defendants made to police were admissible, but the more in-depth interviews they did with social workers and police after their arrest could not be used because they never were told about their rights.
Information from: The North Platte Telegraph, http://www.nptelegraph.com